Volunteer Spotlight: Aleene “GiGi’s Changed My Life For The Better”
Aleene came to GiGi’s as a new resident of the Annapolis area. She wanted to give back to the community so she googled places to volunteer in this area. “Although I got many suggestions,” she says, “GiGi’s just called out to me. I think it was a God thing (am I allowed to say that?).”
She jumped right in as a Literacy tutor and boy did she shine! She has been fantastic working on projects with our older learners, finding what they enjoy and building their reading skills through that. Aleene has worked with adults making lunch following a recipe, creating posters about eagles and another about flowers. She gained valuable experience teaching at a community college and as a K-2 Sunday school teacher for many years.
Aleene says she has always loved teaching, especially children. “I have been blessed with a wonderful life and I want to share that in a way that benefits others. I hope my students gain the love of reading as I have or at least confidence in reading and comprehension. I would like their time to be educational but also fun,” the Literacy tutor says.
“What I have found is that the experience of tutoring these awesome individuals has given back to me a wonderful sense of purpose and the students teach me as much as I teach them. I love my time with them.” Aleene emphasizes, “I love being a GiGi’s tutor. The individuals I’ve had the privilege to be with have taught me so much and showed me unconditional acceptance, unadulterated honesty, and kindness. Not something I experience with a lot of people.
“I have grown from the genius that they exhibit. I have also grown from the affectionate feelings I have for them. They’ve taught me not to be self conscious or self centered. I love giving service and getting away from the ‘me’ thoughts.”
A testament to Aleene’s commitment is that because she doesn’t drive, she arranges a bus pick up and drop off which can take a long time to and from the Playhouse.
“Thank you for giving me this opportunity,” says Aleene. “GiGi’s changed my life for the better!”
Thanks for your dedication Aleene!